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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Evidence Reveals T. rex Suffered From Gout, Scientists Report

May 22, 1997|From Times staff and wire reports

Tyrannosaurus rex may have raged across the plains driven by more than ravenous hunger--it also suffered painful gout, U.S. scientists report in the May 22 issue of the journal Nature. The disease, suffered by human tyrants such as England's Henry VIII, causes painful joints and grumpy behavior.

Bruce Rothschild of the Arthritis Center of Northeast Ohio in Youngstown and colleagues say they found evidence in the limbs of T. rex that it also had gout. The metabolic disorder, typically associated with a fondness for rich food and drink, causes crystals of a chemical known as urate to accumulate in bones and joints, and often causes new bone tissue to form. Reptiles and birds also are known to contract the ailment.

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